Following a four-year career in the Red and Black, Myanna Hellsten enters her fifth season on the sidelines as an assistant coast for Cincinnati. Hellsten plans all of the team's travel, assists with recruiting and works with the players on the court, primarily the middle blockers.
UC's historic 30-6 campaign in 2010 saw the development of sophomore middle blockers Jordanne Scott and Becca Refenes under Hellsten's tutelage. Scott led the Bearcats in attack percentage (.333) and finished second in in kills per set (2.84) on her way to being named a First Team All-BIG EAST selection. After playing all of the team's 124 sets in '10, Refenes led the Bearcats in blocks per set (1.18) and placed third in kills per set (2.15).
Working with three freshmen in 2009, Hellsten helped develop the middle of UC's front row into a strength led by BIG EAST All-Tournament team selection, freshman Emily Hayden, who ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in conference-only play in hitting percentage. Not only did Hayden shine, but so did freshman Jordanne Scott, who was a two-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week and led the team in total blocks (125) and blocks per game (0.98).
After concluding her career as the only player in UC history to eclipse 1,000 career kills and 500 career blocks, Hellsten helped middle blocker Jessie Nevitt become the second player in Bearcat history to accomplish the feat in 2008. Under Hellsten's watch, Nevitt was a two-time first-team all-conference selection, a two-time AVCA All-Region selection, and a 2008 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American during her final two seasons. Hellsten also worked with sophomore middle blocker Lindsay Upton and in 2008, both Nevitt and Upton finished conference-only play ranked in the Top 10 in hitting percentage.
Prior to joining the UC staff in 2007, Hellsten gained coaching experience on the club and youth levels. Following her junior year of competition as a player at UC, Hellsten assisted UC head coach Reed Sunahara with his coaching duties for the Team Z club team in Cincinnati. In addition, Hellsten has worked many of UC's youth camps and coached a third and fourth grade team for two years. This summer, Hellsten is coaching Team Z's top 17 year old squad, marking her sixth year with Team Z and her fifth year as a head coach for the club.
During her playing career, Hellsten excelled both on and off the court. As a middle blocker, Hellsten was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2003 and a two-time all-conference selection. As a Bearcat, she was one of the program's top middle blockers ever, playing alongside former standouts Rachel Torblaa and Jessie Nevitt.
Away from volleyball, Hellsten was a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team honoree and was the recipient of the Helen Norman Smith Award, honoring the top graduating senior at UC in 2007. She earned her undergraduate degree in human ecology in June 2007.
The Myanna Hellsten File
College: Cincinnati (BIS in Human Ecology, 2007)
Year at Cincinnati: 5th
Coaching experience: Fourth season: Cincinnati (2006-pr.), assistant coach
Playing experience: Cincinnati (2003-06)